DT 29970 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29970

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29970

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where life is slowly beginning to return to normal as pandemic restrictions are lifted. However, this situation may not last long as I see there is now talk of an impending seventh wave.

I thought today’s offering from Campbell to be a bit more difficult than usual but that may just be me not at the top of my game having endured a sleepless night.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Litter: a good way to make something of it? (6)
FARROW — link together an adverb meaning ‘a good way’ or ‘a considerable distance’ and a verb meaning ‘to make something of it’ or ‘to engage in a noisy quarrel’

4a   Penny increase gets approval (6)
PRAISE — the single letter for penny precedes an increase in the stakes of a card game

8a   Burial site in field church overlooked (3)
PIT — what is left from a football field when the abbreviation for church is removed

10a   Hopelessness of French husband and wife (7)
DESPAIR — a Fremch partitive article amd what a husbanc and wife collectively constitute

11a   Unfriendly landlord, priest recalled (7)
HOSTILE — the landlord of a pub and a reversal of the Old Testament priest who instructed the prophet Samuel

12a   Register seven terraced houses (5)
ENTER — the two middle words house a hidden word

13a   Peering, one of five wearing fleece (9)
SQUINTING — one of five children from the same birth inside fleece or swimdle

14a   Sausage dish: one hotel had it prepared (4-2-3-4)
TOAD IN THE HOLE — an anagram (prepared) of the four preceding words

17a   Photograph taken by mate, one in cinema (7,6)
PICTURE PALACE — another word for photograph, a mate or chum, and the lowest possible score on a hole in golf

22a   Replaced nurse felt bitter (9)
RESENTFUL — an anagram (replaced) of the following two words

23a   Constant speed in old kite (5)
CRATE — a physicist’s constant (in particular, the speed of light) and another word for speed; the kite is neither a bird nor a toy

24a   Staying power of a man — it’s staggering (7)
STAMINA — an anagram (staggering) of the three preceding words

25a   Weigh up close friend missing daughter (7)
COMPARE — remove the single letter for daughter from an American term of Spanish origin for a close friend COMPADRE

26a   What sounds like bent grass? (3)
RYE — this cereal grass sounds like bent or contorted (describing a facial expression perhaps)

27a   Assessing some brat in group (6)
RATING — hidden in (some) the following three words

28a   Definitely not name of nobleman left out (2,4)
NO FEAR — the single letter for name, the OF from the clue, and a mid-level nobleman stripped of his final letter (left out)


1d   Heading for farm, more unusual cattle feed (6)
FODDER — the initial letter of farm followed by a word meaning more unusual

2d   Rice dish is too much in centre of Verona (7)
RISOTTO — the IS from the clue and an acronym denoting too much or to an excessive or exaggerated degree set inside the centre letters of VeROna

3d   Short one, tune being broadcast (2,3)
ON AIR — the word ‘one’ shortened by removing its final letter and a short melodious song

5d   Playwright ran hostel in resort (9)
ROSENTHAL — an anagram (in resort) of the second and third words in the clue produces an English writer whose early work includes 129 episodes of Coronation Street

6d   First sign (7)
INITIAL — double definition, the second meanig to make a mark to authorize or validate a document

7d   Come out of European Union? Not entirely (6)
EMERGE — the single letter for European and the union or combination of two things, especially companies, into one minus its final letter (not entirely)

8d   Therefore in error if pawn moved and captured man? (8,2,3)
PRISONER OF WAR — a word meaning therefore inserted into an anagram (moved) of the three preceding words

9d   Proscribed, as opposed to prescribed thinking? They’ll monitor that (7,6)
THOUGHT POLICE — a cryptic definition of a group of people who aim or are seen as aiming to suppress ideas that deviate from the way of thinking that they believe to be correct

14d   Lid of trophy turned up (3)
TOP — a reversal (turned up) of a slang word for a trophy

15d   Desperately need tot in custody (9)
DETENTION — an anagram (desperately) of the following three words

16d   The day before man finally evicted from flat (3)
EVE — a synonym for flat or level from which the final letter of maN has been removed

18d   Second pressing (7)
INSTANT — double definition, the second a dated term meaning urgent or pressing

19d   Cleaner forced to go topless in farce (7)
CHARADE — the usual cleaning lady and a synonym for forced or compelled without its initial letter (topless); the answer is not a parlour game

20d   Rubber, strangely rare round south-east (6)
ERASER — an anagram (strangely) of RARE containing (round) the abbreviation for south-east

21d   Measuring device capturing old falling star (6)
METEOR — a measuring device (for electricity perhaps) containing the single letter for old

23d   Scour round for small jazz band (5)
COMBO — to scour or search for followed by a round letter

Podium places go to 1a, 8d and 19d. I will give top honours to 1a in recognition of the incredibly long time it took me to parse the wordplay despite the answer being blatantly obvious.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): SAW + TILL + EDGE = SORTILEGE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : POUR + TICK + OWE = PORTICO

63 comments on “DT 29970

  1. Very enjoyable and gentle intro into the working week. I had most of it in on first pass though I was glad I didn’t have to explain 9d, and the workings of 1a took a while to reveal themselves.
    Favourites were 1&28a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the fun

  2. 2*/4*. Good light fun for a Monday morning with 1a, 28a & 19d my top three.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  3. A nice straightforward start to the week with at least 2 dishes for those feeling rather peckish.

  4. Lots of fun while it lasted – as Stephen says, a gentle start to the week. My LOI was 1a, with an appropriately 1a’d brow as I teased apart the parsing … and groaned audibly: what a great surface and subtle misdirection. Hon Mentions to 10a and 19d, with COTD to 7d.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon

    1. I was a bit hesitant to decide on second letter for 1a but settled on ‘a’ whereas surely Mustafa your brow is with a ‘u’?

        1. My solution contained an a rather than a u, however my brow is currently littered with lots of small pigs … my mental spellcheck went AWOL while I was trying to be too clever for my own good!

  5. 2 very gentle puzzles from our Monday maestro today & both enjoyable as always. He was doing an impersonation of proXimal in the bonus online offering with an X-less pangram. 28a was the only brief head scratch in the back-pager & 14a brought back memories of childhood & my mother’s desperate cooking.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon
    Wordle in 3

    1. The online-only bonus puzzle was a delight, despite the proliferation of anagrams. Would strongly recommend it to those with access to the puzzles site.

  6. This one suited me and had no dramas at */*** with great consistency although I didn’t really understand 25a or 14d until I read Pommers hints for with thanks and also to the setter. My COTD was 13a which was also my LOI.

  7. It’s Monday :good: (even if the Colorado Low hasn’t completely finished with us yet) It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 4a, 23a, and 23d – and the winner is 4a

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. Sounds like Winnipeg is in dire straits today according to our news … lots of flooding and water damage to most of the city. Trust you are well and safe and that the news is exaggerating things.

  8. My correct guess for 1a enabled completion in ** time.
    All others fell nicely into place.
    Enjoyable start to the crossword week.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  9. Thank you to Campbell and Falcon — the latter especially for the top quickie pun, which turned out to be a word I didn’t know. On The OED‘s search page I misread the entry’s gloss as “The practice of eating lots”, but clicking through to the full definition revealed it to be “The practice of casting lots”, which sounds much less fun.

  10. I thought this a cut above the usual Monday fare, likewise the quickie, and even wondered if the setter might be someone new, but apparently not since no one else has said as much. At any rate, I breezed right through it, with all of the long answers falling in quick time, and 1a, 7d, and 28a earning top honours. Strangely (for me anyway), I had to refresh my memory of the dramatist / screenwriter, and then remembered Yentl and some other works of his. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 2*/3*

  11. Finished filling the grid in a comfortable ** time, but needed Falcon’s hints to explain the parsing of 1a, and to confirm our thoughts on 7d and 26a. Middling on the enjoyment scale for us today.

  12. Did battle wth this before arising so late to breakfast but a nice way to start the week anyway. SE slowest going. 23a and 25a are unclear to me. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

    1. In 23a, kite is dated British slang for an aircraft and the answer is slang for an old and dilapidated vehicle.

      In 25a, compadre (Spanish, literally ‘godfather’, hence ‘benefactor’ or ‘friend’) is mainly US slang used as a form of address to a friend or companion.

  13. Thought 8a was rather insensitive in light of the recent grim discoveries in Ukraine – surprised CL didn’t ask for a re-write.
    Struggled with the parsing of 28a – definite tea tray moment when the light dawned.
    Top three here were 13a plus 1&23d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – hope you sleep more soundly tonight.

    1. I hardly think the mention of burial sites in a crossword will offend the Ukrainians, after all they have been through it would be inconsequential. And I think we should be reminded every day of the horrors over there instead of going on about office parties, which I personally couldn’t give a hoot about.

    2. I think the clue can be read in a fairly benign way as graves in a field that can be seen from a church building (which is no doubt what the setter intended).

      However, if one were to read “overlooked” in the sense of neglected, suppressed, and swept under the rug, the clue can take on a very sinister connotation. I’m afraid it is this latter image that comes to my mind here in Canada where fields of unmarked graves of children who died while in the care of nuns and priests at Church-run Indian residential schools are being discovered at hundreds of locations across the country. It is only this year that the Catholic Church is finally beginning to acknowledge its role in this atrocity.

  14. Well, that was a satisfying solve and a great start to the week. I have never heard of the burial site but it could be nothing else. In fact, the short 3 letter clues caused me the most trouble. I love 14a but Mrs. C doesn’t like sausages so I make it with bacon. Not quite the same. Did anyone else think the grid a bit odd? At first glance it seemed there seemed to be a mass of white squares.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints.

  15. It is interesting to see no clear winner for a favourite clue, with earlier commenters giving a variety of choices. Probably the sign of a popular puzzle. My vote goes to 19d and I thought the whole grid was high quality and great fun to complete.

    My thanks to the double punner and Falcon.

  16. Excellent light start to the week which makes a pleasant change. Unusual grid with 4 three letter clues, long time since we’ve seen that. The answer to 17a takes me back to the 50s but my fav was 14a because it’s one of my favourite meals.
    Thx to all

  17. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for a nice start to the week. I shall pick 13a for my favourite today, but it could have come from a long list.
    Would Disaster Risk count as a 3rd pun (24 and 25a)?
    I don’t think Falcon did the bonus 705 as I think it is an X’less pangra…

    1. As well as “My gal Annabel” at at 8a and 10a? Maybe too much of a stretch, methinks but I do like distaste risk.

    2. Can’t imagine it was proXimal as surely it was too straightforward for him. My few bob still on Campbell as reckon the X-less pangram coincidental. Still to look at yesterday’s Toughie.

  18. I thought a fairly straightforward and enjoyable solve, although it took me a while to unpick the parsing for 1a and whilst able to work out the name of the playwright, he was new to me. Pick has to be 1a as it was my do’h moment re: parsing.

  19. A gentle Campbell for this Monday puzzle. 2*/4*
    Completed this with no need for hints, so that is always satisfying to do.
    Favourites include 1a, 13a, 28a, 19d & 21d with winner 1a or 13a … both good clues.

    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon for hints

  20. A satisfying start to the day, puzzle done with the usual salad prepared by George (his vow when he retired was to make lunch every day, mostly salad but I am a rabbit). I have an old stone butlers sink outside the back door planted up with cut and come again lettuce leaves. Covered by a plastic cloche they have fed us throughout the winter and stlll going strong. I recommend the exercise. Am not keen on sausages but love 2d and am looking forward to using some asparagus in one. Many thanks to Setter & Hinter. How clever is the top quickie pun!

  21. Judging by the comments, the vast majority appear to have found the puzzle no more difficult than normal so (as I pretty much expected) my issues can be attributed to my sleep-deprived state at the time.

  22. Campbell has definitely raised the difficulty bar on his Monday puzzles but gives us some wonderful clues to solve. Thank you to Falcon and Campbell for a an enjoyable Monday morning workout. Favourite was 5d ; television was fortunate to have such a good writer working in the medium.

  23. I have just typed out half of War and Peace about the puzzle and my lunch and it has all just disappeared into the ether. George forced me to drink a Ghost Ship Lemonade shandy when I came in for lunch after going to yoga and then working in the garden with the pocket ticket so I am going to have a lovely lie down for half an hour. Many thanks Setter & Hinter. Very clever quickie pun, unusual

      1. So I see! I cannot remember when I last drank beer in any form so it obviously had a marked effect on me. I have just had the aforementioned nap, and awoke with a nude vicar. Sorry, renewed vigour – just as it should be pocket rocket (not ticket) the gardener. I think I should just go now! 😳

  24. Completed most of this but couldn’t get comrade out of my head for 25a, I considered the correct answer for 1a but couldn’t justify it, so I had to look at the hint for that. I thought 1a meant something other than litter. A bit harder than the usual Monday fare in my opinion ***/****. That’s **** for enjoyment. Thanks to all.

    1. In addition to meaning litter, the answer to 1a can also mean the act of giving birth to a litter of pigs (a pig’s lifespan is measured from “1a to slaughter”) or, as a verb, to give birth to piglets.

      1. Another obscure meaning, not pig-related, of the 1a answer is an old-fashioned name for a stretcher (as used by ambulance crew, etc). I’ve seen that meaning used in cryptic clues quite a few times.

        1. I think you are referring to an obscure meaning of the word “litter” not of the 1a answer, Jose.

  25. A Monday morning treat. Left half went quickly in, with the right side following a bit more slowly. I don’t understand 23a. Needed help for 1a like a lot of others mentioned. 25a was last in. Never heard anyone over here call their friend compadre. Perhaps it went out of use before we got here. But a lot of enjoyment today, and I still have the bonus prize puzzle printed up and ready to do. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

    1. I expect that compadre might be (or have been) more commonly used in the southwestern US.

  26. Being a GD, albeit retired, 1a came easily even if the parsing did not. I loved the grid tough, like others, found those three letter words tougher than the rest. Thanks Falcon and Campbell.

  27. I do enjoy Monday mornings, how nice to rest the brain. My only holdup and last one in was 28a, just couldn’t parse it and just bunged it in at the end. Why? Dunno, it wasn’t that hard. I do enjoy a good 14a, alas, since I stopped eating little pigs, turkey sausage doesn’t cut it, I’m going to choose it for fave anyway.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and Falcon for his explanations. Wordle in 4. Just received my refueled Famous Grouse, that’ll hold me for a couple of weeks.h

  28. 3/3. The west went in smoothly but the east was a real struggle for me. Needed help to finish. Thanks to all.

  29. Not on the wavelength for this at all. Only put the checkers in for quite some time. A dnf due to failing to get 1a and 23d.

    1a is a new term for me and 23d involves a type of music I avoid at all costs.

    26a still makes no sense to me.

    1. B, 26a. The answer is a homopnone (sounds like) of wry (bent, twisted, contorted, etc).

  30. I enjoyed today’s puzzle. It did help getting several anagrams straightaway but then I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get 23a & 25a had to resort to the hints for the parsing. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon. It also took me awhile to get the quickie pun but we were rushing off to the vets.
    I must say, after Jack the Russell had a consultation with the vet this morning which included a thorough body examination, blood tests, ear inspection etc,etc the bill was far better value than my trip to the Dermatologist the other week!

  31. Just completed the CPP 705
    Was as good and as much fun as the regular cryptic.
    Clues to like are many but top 5 include 13a, 18a, 22a, 1d & 14d

    Thanks to Campbell again

  32. Mercifully straightforward as I’d been down the pub with the dog training class before starting this. 9d had to be what it was, my first guess, the trouble is there are too many of them about patrolling all social media sites plus wikipedia and YouTube et al stifling the art of reasoned discussion. I’ll stop now. Curiously it was my favourite. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  33. I really enjoyed both crosswords and thought that I would complete cryptic unaided but was totally stuck on 23a and 23d. After reading Falcon’s explanation all became clear. Thanks to Falcon and I’m so glad that you managed to sleep well. Having spent far too much of yesterday hanging on the phone to get information from human beings after being told to press buttons, numbers, say what I wanted briefly and being redirected by robotic messages I really feared I wouldn’t sleep either! Thanks to Campbell for two fun crosswords.

Comments are closed.